Looking for an all day adventure, I hiked to Marion Lake in Grand Teton National Park from the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s aerial tram. Not only was the hike adventurous and challenging, I was rewarded with remarkably visually stunning views!

I hiked almost 14 miles round-trip. The distance from the top of the tram to Marion Lake is close to 12 miles out and back. Viewing Marion Lake in late July with the wildflowers in bloom is gorgeous.

Marion Lake: Grand Teton National Park

I added a spectacular side trip by hiking past Marion Lake up to a plateau with panoramic views. Check out the scenery from my side trip!

Teton Range

Marion Lake Hiking Difficulty

The dirt trail provides solid footing; however, the distance, high elevation and climbs earn the trail a moderately strenuous all day hike. I would highly recommend the hike for fit hiking enthusiasts.

Marion Lake: Grand Teton National Park

Marion Lake Hiking Trail Specifics

  • Start at Teton Village at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
  • Take an early ride on the aerial Tram up to the top of Rendezvous Mountain.
  • From the top of the tram, head left along the ridgeline and then along the service road.
  • Take a right at the Grand Teton National Park boundary and head down the switchbacks of the back of Rendezvous Mountain.
  • Take a left at Middle Fork Cut-Off junction about 3.9 miles into hike.
  • Turn right at junction with Teton Crest Trail at 4.4 miles.
  • Turn right at the junction with Game Creek Trail at 5.4 miles.
  • Turn left at junction at North Fork Trail at 6 miles.
  • Once at Marion Lake, continue beyond climbing up the hill for beautiful sights of the Teton Range and Marion Lake.
  • Return the same way you came for an out and back hike.
  • Monitor the time and ensure you catch the tram ride down the mountain.

Marion Lake: Grand Teton National Park

Marion Lake Hiking Tips!

  • Bring a fee to ride up the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort aerial tram.
  • You’ll hike almost 14 miles. You’ll want to catch the tram back down the mountain, so start early. If you miss the last tram ride, you’ll have over 7 miles more miles to walk!
  • Be prepared and dress appropriately for high mountain drastic temperature and weather changes.
  • Bring plenty of water.
  • Best times to hike are from early July to early September. I recommend late July when the wildflowers abundant.
  • Bring a trail map.
  • Click Here for more hiking and gear tips.

Wildlife in Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park!

Be prepared and knowledgeable about wildlife in the area. I have seen bears in this area. I suggest bringing bear spray. Always respect the environment you are a guest of.


Top of Rendezvous Mountain

Grand Teton National Park: Overnight and Backpacking Options

Obtain a permit from Grand Teton National Park, camp at Marion Lake and explore further trails the following day. I highly recommend overnight and multi-day backpacking trips in this area. Exploring the jagged Tetons, meadows of wildflowers, glacier lakes and wildlife that the Grand Teton National Park has to offer is an experience like no other.

Read about More Hikes from the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Tram!

Granite Canyon Hike

Rock Springs Loop

Share your adventures or ask a question!

16 comments… add one
Trevor Tew

Hi! I live in victor idaho, and was wondering if there is a trail head from the other side of the mountains into Marion lake. I was also wondering if there is fishing avaliable there. Thanks!

Hi Trevor. Yes you can reach Marion Lake from the Idaho side. Here’s a few links to get you started. I also added the nps.gov link for information you need for fishing and overnight camping in Grand Teton National Park.

http://www.greater-yellowstone.com/Teton-Valley/South-Teton-Canyon.html
http://www.greater-yellowstone.com/Teton-Valley/hiking-backpacking.html
http://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/upload/Backcountry14.pdf

Enjoy your adventures! ~ Kari

Michael

I am backpacking the Teton crest trail in August. Starting at Granite Canyon and exiting at the String lake trailhead. I was wondering if you could recommend a shuttle service from string lake to the granite canyon trailhead. I have not had much luck finding any information on shuttles.

Hi Michael.
There are very few shuttle services. Alltrans Park Shuttle will take you from Jackson to several places in Grand Teton National Park and back. Try the following link. http://www.alltransparkshuttle.com/ConstructionSchedules.html
You can take the START bus from Jackson back to Teton Village (near the Granite Canyon Trailhead). Sorry if this is not very helpful. Enjoy your adventure!
~Kari

Jared Morrison

My friend and I hiked from the GC Trailhead to the top of the Tram with a stop at Marion Lake. The roughly 16 mile route took us about 7 hours with a couple of short breaks. A note to fellow hikers, the Marion Lake detour is beautiful, but it will add a lot of time and distance to your hike! Also, there was a great deal of snow covering the trails during our July hike, and we had to follow footprints for much of the middle section. I’m commenting mostly to let folks know that you can hike from the bottom to the top and take a FREE Tram ride back (make sure you look up the last Tram return time first!) Almost all Granite Canyon hiking info online indicates a start at the top of the mountain, but I assure you that the climb from the bottom to the top is incredibly satisfying.

Hi Jared,
Thanks for sharing your hike. Yes, I agree, the hike to top of Tram is great and one of my favorites.
Thanks!
Kari

Art

How many feet above sea level is Marion Lake?

Hi Art,
The top of Rendezvous mountain is 10,450 feet. The elevation at Marion Lake is 9,240 feet.
Thanks for looking at my website! ~Kari

Art

Thank you Kari.

Mark

I’m planning a 3 days back pack starting from Teton Village according to the following routes:

1 night Marion Lake
2 night Death Canyon shelf
3 night South Fork Cascade Canyon
exit Jenny Lake
is there any camping ground or accommodation lodge to spend the overnights?

Tanks,

Hi Mark! It sounds like you have a great trip planned. For camping while backpacking in the Grand Teton National Park, you’ll need a permit. Visit the Grand Teton National Park website for more information on how to get a permit. If you miss the deadline to get a permit, you can get a permit in person on a first-come, first-served basis one day before you start the hike.

I’ve obtained a permit and camped at the Marion Lake campground. It’s a stunning site on the lake. I would download the Backcountry planner map (can be found at the link I provided). This map shows the camping zones in your itinerary, so you can better plan your trip.

You’ll be camping while backpacking. However once you reach Jenny lake, you’ll have a choice of accommodations. The Jenny Lake Campground is very popular and fills quickly in the mid-morning. Reservations are not accepted in advance and campsites are available on a first come basis. Jenny Lake also has a nice lodge where reservations can be made in advance – Jenny Lake Lodge.

The other option at the end of your trip is to head back to Teton Village and stay there.

FYI: Jackson Hole, Teton Village and Grand Teton National Park are very popular destinations during the summer. Accommodations fill up quickly.

I hope this information helps.

Thanks,
~Kari

Julie Reggio

Hi Mark, I’m likely a little late to reply here, but the trail you will be on borders Targhee National Forest. You DON’T need a permit to camp within the National Forest. Get a permit for the gorgeous camping at Marion Lake within the Park but continue on across Death Canyon Shelf and camp the 2nd night in the Alaska Basin which is in the National Forest. No permit needed and it’s filled with many alpine lakes and one “secret” lake full of hungry trout! From the Alaska Basin you can get back into the Park by hiking the trail that goes around Static Peak and back down and out of Death Canyon. OR even better, a little longer, but the views are worth it—hike from Alaska Basin over Hurricane Pass back into the Park and exiting the hike from the always gorgeous Cascade Canyon. You won’t be regretting that extra mileage. Trust me.
http://www.tennesseeteton.blogspot.com

Hi Julie. Thanks for providing great information! ~ Kari

Courtney

The Marion Lake hike is a beautiful one in the Jackson Hole area and now is the time to go with a beautiful, lingering Indian Summer taking place. If you’re visiting and want to take a quick half-day or full-day guided hike, it’s worth checking out the Hole Hiking Experience: http://www.jacksonholewy.com/jackson-hole-hiking.php

Cathy Shill and her fleet of biologists and guides will take you on some beautiful trails and tell you about the history, geology, flora and fauna of the area.

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